A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/À Beckett, Gilbert Abbott

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À Beckett, Gilbert Abbott (1811-1856).—Comic writer, b. in London, the s. of a lawyer, and belonged to a family claiming descent from Thomas à Becket. Destined for the legal profession, he was called to the Bar. In addition to contributions to various periodicals and newspapers, including Punch, The Illustrated London News, The Times, and Morning Herald, he produced over fifty plays, many of which attained great popularity, and he also helped to dramatise some of Dickens' works. He is perhaps best known as the author of Comic History of England, Comic History of Rome, Comic Blackstone, etc. He was also distinguished in his profession, acted as a commissioner on various important matters, and was appointed a metropolitan police magistrate.